I originally uploaded this in Fall 2014 marking the 50th Anniversary of the original airing of the series on my original channel. This was then subsequently re-uploaded to my current channel in Spring 2016 so that people could appreciate this again.
Stingray is one of my first loves in entertainment as a child when it was re-run in the 1980s on CITV, as at that the time ITV still had the Broadcast rights to most of Gerry Anderson's shows, including Thunderbirds, which is considered his greatest creation of them all, before they would lose them to the BBC in the early 1990s when they realised there was a new audience for Thunderbirds based on the Nostalgia stage show in the 1980s.
When people were looking to the stars in the mid 60's with the Apollos going up, Gerry looked to our very oceans and the very worlds that lay beneath the light and waves.
The stories were charming each week with very sophisticated puppetry and miniature work that were well ahead of their time when this aired.
That and the idea itself of a submarine being able to descend down to incredible depths of 36'000 feet below the surface made for exciting television each week because the possibilities of what you would experience each week were endless. From oceans beneath oceans in Subterranean Sea to dealing with the chief antagonist in Titan in various episodes from the Pilot, Titan's Masterplan, Sea of Gold and Titan goes Pop.
Derek Meddings got his start with Gerry Anderson on shows from Supercar to Fireball XL5 to being raised to Special Effects Director on Stingray and then into Thunderbirds where he developed the rolling sky system that would make aircraft look like they were travelling through the air. And because of this he would then move on to making miniatures for the Superman Movies and 1989's Batman. If you watch the scene where the Batwing crashes in the streets at Gotham Cathedral - that's Medding's work.
The work he did with Stingray is nothing short of impressive with how the world that the submarine lives in, that was designed by Reg Hill, really does look like looking at worlds beneath the oceans of our world.
You'd be forgiven in thinking that they actually put the models and puppets into a tank and filmed them that way. Many have made that mistake - including me.
The only times that Stingray was ever in the water is when it was being lowed beneath the water at the start of it's launch sequence/diving and to when it would surface - of which Creator, Gerry Anderson, states in the Director's commentary in the first episode that is just called Stingray pilot.
The rest of the time the craft would be filmed behind a cyclorama which is basically a thin wall of glass that had water filled in it before a model of the ocean floor that gave a very convincing look that it was actually in the water with fish of varying sizes to give forced perspective.
And the launch sequence is something that I would always get hyped for as from a miniature perspective it's so masterfully done and set to Barry Gray's score just makes it more astounding.
Equally as impressive is the work used for the sequence of Marineville's Battlestations whenever the Installation would be under attack or believe that there would be a threat.
The Buildings from the Control Tower to Residential quarters would be lowered down on hydraulics to what is essentially a bomb shelter underground that would keep the occupants safe from harm.
It's actually quite clever. In the same idea that you could use this idea to protect your occupants from a potential nuclear war outbreak that would have your occupants shielded from radiation exposure by having them brought underground.
The writing was equally as impressive to where adults could appreciate the crafting of these stories that looked like mini-action movies. It should be noted that Gerry hated working with puppets as he wanted to work with live actors. But, he took what he had to work with, and made the point of creating the best miniature works possible and not have it look hokey like that of Punch N Judy. That's why the Marionettes are made of some of the best fiberglass and using sophisticated miniature special effects for explosions, models and sequences that were well ahead of their time to where Derek Meddings would take what he had developed from these and then working on major Hollywood Motion Pictures as I mentioned earlier, including 1995's Goldeneye, of which was his last movie before he passed away in 1995.
The characters of Troy Tempest, George "Phones" Lee Sheridan, Commander Sam Shore, his daughter - Atlanta Shore, Titan and Marina all have their traits that make them unique from one another and could appreciate.
Troy is a man of action but is also one that approaches situations logically. Phones is Stingray's hydrophone operator that would listen out for enemy craft or anything else that would be considered suspicious and serves as 2nd in command to the Stingray crew.
Marina. The mute tailless mermaid completes the crew of 3 as an expert in underwater missions as having lived her entire life under the sea knows more than anyone else in the crew what lies beneath the waves and her experience proves invaluable particularly in episodes like Sea of Oil, Ghost of the sea and the Secret of the Giant Oyster. And because of the fact that she can withstand great pressure from deep waters, her help in The Big Gun effectively saves their lives when she is able to reach the missile launch control before the enemy had a chance to open fire.
Sam Shore while being a gruff commanding Officer of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol has everyone's best interests and safety in mind and makes what he believes are the best decisions for the Stingray crew and Marineville itself. He is confined to a hoverchair after an accident that left him paralysed from the waist down that he recants in the episode Ghost of the Sea where was Captain of his own ship in the World Security Patrol.
Atlanta is voiced by Lois Maxwell, who some of you may remember as the first actress to play Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond movie series. Atlanta has a very bubbly and approachable personality and is one of Troy's love interests in the series as she and Marina vie for his affections.
Titan - the ruler of the underwater City of Titanica. Clearly not an advocate for narcissism...
His basic premise is not only rule all of the seven seas of the world, but the lands populated by the Terraneans - basically what humans are referred to as in this series. He commands his operations from his city and has his surface Agent X20 to send reports of what Stingray is doing when it's out on a mission and to his servants - the Aquaphibians that pilot his warships known as the Mechanical-Fish or Terror-Fish, dependent on which media you followed of Stingray from the TV series or the comic book series.
In the 55 years since Stingray first aired multiple generations have enjoyed it's stories from those that originally saw it in the 1960's, to the re-run generations in the 80s & 90s and to those that can find it on DVD & streaming platforms today.
One particular YouTuber I am impressed by is a Gentleman named, Chris Thompson who has made a lot of Gerry Anderson tribute art from still-art on his deviant art page to fan-made movies and concept pieces like this one above of what if Stingray was re-made with 3D graphics for a modern age, and in my opinion he nailed it first time maintaining the mystique of the underwater world as premised in the original series, but has enhanced it with a lot more realism with regards to lighting, the use of water-bubbles and updating the Stingray theme from Barry Gray but with Guy Taylor putting a nice spin on it as could be heard after the titular vehicle takes out the Mechanical fish.
I had mentioned Composer Barry Gray earlier with how his score would make Stingray's launch sequence even more amazing. Well the intro/opening has the exact same impact. From the word go it has this dramatic impact score that gives you the idea in the first 1:16 of the episodes run-time that tells you that you're in for an adventurous story with amazing miniatures and special effects.
The ending theme however I feel has not aged too well. While it has a very sweet and charming nature to where Troy is singing about his feelings for the mute mermaid, it just comes off as cringe.
It should be noted that Garry Miller sings the the ending theme "Aqua Marina" in the episode "Raptures of the deep" where Troy has an hallucinogenic dream that he has all the riches of the world has his own underwater Palace known as 'Tempest Towers'...I kinda feel that's kind of a metaphor where he's kind of become like Titan, but without the antagonistic tendencies of wanting to take over the world, and he's just being a narcissist.
All-in-all, Stingray is great for anyone that loves Gerry Anderson's work or for anyone that just loves a great action/adventure story with developed characters and memorable stories for 25 minutes of each 39 episodes of the series.
And remember - anything can happen in the next half hour!
Stingray the Complete Series is available from...
Buy the model itself
Fast Memories Part 15: 2014
Fast Memories Part 14: 2012 & 2013
Fast Memories Part 13: 2011
Fast Memories Part 12: 2010